Streaks chasing 11th straight gymnastics team title
Gymnasts from Saratoga Springs will be striving for another sweep of the major awards at Wednesday’s Section II championship meet at Shaker High School.
The Blue Streaks have captured a record 10 straight team titles, and have had the all-around winner in six of the last seven years.
“Once again, they’re very strong,” Shaker coach and Section II gymnastics coordinator Marbry Gansle said of the Blue Streaks. “They’re undefeated going in. They have a lot of depth, and they have experience. They have some little ones that are very good, and a lot of veterans.”
The Blue Streaks have the top returning all-arounder from the 2011 sectionals in Rachel Van Earden, who placed third, and also feature Rema Bianco, who was sixth. Saratoga’s Tiffany Hogben won the all-around at the last two sectional meets, and the Blue Streaks also had two-time all-around champs in Heather Markus (2009, 2008) and Kaitlin Dewey (2006, 2005).
Van Earden placed first at the Section II All-Around Meet Thursday, while Bianco took the top spot ahead of schoolmate Morgan Winnie at the early-season Shaker Invitational.
The Blue Streaks won the team title at the Shaker Invitational before going 6-0 to secure their fifth consecutive Suburban Council crown. Guilderland (4-2), Shaker (2-4) and Bethlehem (0-6) rounded out the league standings.
Guilderland is led by Hailey Marini and sisters Jaclyn and Claire Levy, Shaker features Stephanie Miller and Maggie Muzio, and Bethlehem is anchored by Ella Meredith and Nina Van Riper. Marini, Bianca, Winnie and Miller placed two, three, four and five, respectively, at the Section II All-Around Meet.
“There are tons of sports out there, but I’ve always believed gymnasts are the most versatile athletes,” said Gansle. “Not only do they have to be strong and extremely agile and perform in a variety of events, but they have to be elegant at the same time.”
Wednesday’s meet will begin with the march of athletes at 4:30, and competition will start at 4:45. There will be an admission fee.
The state meet will also be held at Shaker High School on March 3.
Ullman gets record, milestone
Senior guard Brett Ullman set a single-season school record and reached a milestone in Sharon Springs’ last two basketball games.
Ullman scored his 1,000th point on a first-quarter free throw and added on in Friday’s 55-54 loss to Fort Plain in the WAC Cup semifinals at Fulton-Montgomery Community College. Ullman finished with 19 points to boost his varsity total to 1,015.
In Sharon Springs’ previous game, a 78-44 win at Duanesburg, Ullman sank nine three-point baskets to become the school’s single-season leader in that category. Mike Scudder held the record with 67 threes, and Ullman’s nine long-distance baskets gave him 71. He added one more against Fort Plain.
“He’s had some great years for me,” said Sharon Springs coach Chris Smith. “I moved him up to the varsity during his freshman year. I knew he was going to be special.”
Barton reaches 250 wins
Schoharie boys’ basketball coach Shane Barton picked up his 250th varsity victory Wednesday when his Indians topped Mayfield, 54-38, in a Western Athletic Conference crossover game.
Barton is in his sixth season with the Schoharie varsity. He directed the Sharon Springs varsity for 15 seasons, and spent three after that as Schoharie’s junior varsity coach before moving up.
“When I started, I just got out of college, and I didn’t know diddly,” said Barton. “It took a few years until I figured it out.”
Barton guided Sharon Springs to the Section II Class D championship in 2003, and has had nine teams make it to sectional final fours at the Glens Falls Civic Center. He’s also had four league champions.
McBride top scholar-athlete
Stillwater senior Rick McBride has been selected the state’s top Class C scholar-athlete by the New York State High School Football Coaches Association.
McBride has been a high honors student throughout his high school career, and has received numerous awards for his academic achievement.
“He’s a very good student. He’s applied to Notre Dame and has been accepted at Albany and RPI. Cornell is a possibility, too,” said Stillwater football coach Vince Barber. “If he goes to Notre Dame, he may try to walk on as a punter. He’s an outstanding punter.”
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound McBride also excelled as a tight end and linebacker in his two seasons as a varsity starter. He helped the Warriors beat rival Mechanicville in the Indian Bowl last fall on their way to the Section II playoffs.
“He gave us a lot of toughness. He was always ready to play,” Barber said of his team captain. “He had a good attitude, and he brought a lot of kids with him.”
McBride competed in the Section II Senior All-Star game, made the Class C North Division all-star first team as a linebacker and punter, and made the all-state third team for his defensive work.
Five NYSHSFCA season-ending awards went to Section II representatives. Dan Rittenhouse of Saratoga Springs and Lucas Nelson of Warrensburg earned top scholar-athlete honors in Class AA and Class D, respectively, Tanner Williams of Hoosick Falls was tabbed the Class C Player of the Year, and longtime Draper and Mohonasen coach Doug Erickson received the Skip Paridon Service Award.
Saratoga Springs field hockey star Celia D’Agostino, who set a school single-season record with 16 assists last fall, has signed a letter of intent to play for the University at Albany.
D’Agostino finished her high school career with a school record-tying 35 assists, and also produced 31 goals. She was twice named to the all-state team, and three times earned Suburban Council first-team laurels.
Saratoga Springs soccer player Liz Rogan has signed to play for Siena College, and Blue Streaks track and cross country runners Maggi Szpak and Katie Treichel are officially headed to Cornell and George Mason, respectively. Guilderland football player Tony Stanish has signed with Stony Brook.